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IRUK Top500 The Customer Performance Dimension Report now available online

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The Customer Performance Dimension Report, the latest IRUK Top500 series of reports, is now available online.

The report, published in association with RedEye, asks how leading retailers are meeting the demands of 21st century shoppers at a time when the balance of power has shifted from the retailer, which once dictated when and where customers could buy, and at what terms. Today, instead, the power lies with consumers who are now able to choose from a range that is to all intents and purposes infinite, compare prices at will and move from one merchant to another, whether at home or abroad, at the click of a mouse, or the swipe of a touchscreen.

That’s the background against which IRUK Top500 retailers must now compete, and this report asks how they do that in a highly competitive market. InternetRetailing researchers believe the answer lies in customer service, and the report investigates the standard that the Top500 as a whole reach in this area, as measured through customer channels and responsiveness, as well as web speed, as well as the standard that leading retailers in this dimension achieve.

Ian Jindal, InternetRetailing editor-in-chief, said: “Our findings so far are both encouraging and not-so-encouraging. Some individual performances stand out, but across the board IRUK 500 retailers are still taking 27 hours, on average to answer an email, while 8% of researchers’ phone calls were not answered at all.

Retailers that don’t compete on customer service will certainly be left behind by consumers who now prize convenience, and by extension service, above all. This report aims to highlight effective and practical ways of not only catching up but overachieving.

“Serving customers in the way they have come to expect – which now includes social media alongside the old standards of email and phone – is now a fundamental requirement in retail today. Those who fall down on those basics will quite simply struggle in a highly competitive world.”

The dimension report examines the work of leading retailers through an interview with The Perfume Shop’s managing director Gill Smith about its approach to customer service, and through case studies of retailers including John Lewis, TK Maxx, WH Smith and French Connection. It also brings together best practice examples not only of customer service but of customer-centric strategy in a 12 approaches that work feature.

The current standard of customer service among Top500 retailers is put to the measure in an Analysing the Numbers feature, and while a New Research feature contrasts their performance with customer expectations. The wider context is set out in a Strategic Overview feature.

Click here to find out more about the report and to download it for free.

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